Not feeling very fulfilled lately and overwhelmed by my underwhelm, I sat down to contemplate the ‘real’ issue.
Why did feelings of disappointment, fogginess, lacklustre energy manage to dominate my feel-good emotions when it came to business - a business I usually thrived on?
The biggest reason - for what boiled down to a core fear - was I couldn’t see the future.
For someone who knows herself to be ‘visionary’, this is painful beyond measure. I know when I get like this I have lost sight of my reason for being. Usually I can reconnect quickly to my passion and reignite the fire so that I am off and running. Not of late….
While distracting myself with some mundane housework recently as a way of giving my deeper wisdom a moment to by-pass my ruminating mind, it came to me that I had actually achieved all of my life goals to date.
That sounded fantastic! I ranged through my memory to relocate those goals, relish them, and tick them off the list. I celebrated with a moment of grateful glee and then fell flat.
Hmm, so what next? I wondered. What are my most soul-demanded desires now? What’s going to get me back in the game? I needed to access my own wisdom and also consult the greats.
EXPLORING THE VISION
I sat with my work journal – I have two journals, a work journal for contemplating and reflecting on business vision and growth, the other for personal goals and dissolving any limiting beliefs that keep me from my better, wiser Self - and began to put my desires into words.
Yes, corny as it may seem, writing your vision has to happen, or you won’t know what you’re longing for and therefore what you will bring to the business and what to expect out of it. And every enduring business has a vision statement.
Once I got started I quickly had the answer. It wasn’t so much my own life goals but what I could do with my business that mattered most and reinspired me into action.
My real and enduring passion came down to a simple statement: I care about creating improved value for all, including myself. And therefore my business products and services reflect this in their processes, quality and results, whatever their market niche.
SEE THE FUTURE
But what would this look like? Recently I read Geoff Green’s book, ‘The Smart Exit Strategy’ so I grabbed it because I care about creating improved value for my business too. Geoff gives seven strategies through which to form your best business exit.
The first was: ‘Have a real and enduring purpose’ - which I had just relocated - and the second was:
‘See the future’ - which was eluding me.
Geoff says the key distinguishing feature of all great entrepreneurial businesses is their outstanding products, service or the way they do business. The ‘X’ factor behind these businesses is the founders’ ability to see the future.
‘Essentially it’s the ability to foresee with a high level of certainty what will happen in a particular marketplace, and then act to commercially exploit that insight. In other words, an entrepreneurial crystal ball,’ Geoff Green says.
He cites a number of the greats such as Branson, Jobs, Bezos, as people who use their ability to vision and see the future, act on it and know when to release their innovation onto the market.
‘Even more importantly, if you reach the conclusion you can’t do it you’re turning your back on one of the greatest creators of potential value in your business. This is not the domain of great entrepreneurs. I believe everyone has far more potential to see the future than we might think.’
Creativity, curiosity and experimentation are common to entrepreneurial visions coming to fruition. No entrepreneur stops once they have seen the future. They create prototypes, analyse and test the market, tweak the details, until it’s ready to be released as a commercially viable entity.
MAKE ROOM TO SEE THE FUTURE
We not only need to rediscover our see the future skills. The challenge is to foster these skills in a large scale company in ways that will foster individuals, and their businesses can operate in a way that enables them to see the future. Geoff suggests:
Get the right people fully engaged to think laterally
Let them question or experiment with ideas without concern for how they will be viewed or valued within the organisation
Locate the mavericks in the business who relish exploring ‘what if?’
SEE THE FUTURE AGAIN
With that in mind I sat down to see the future of my clients and the potential of my business offerings for leaders of vision who want to create value now and in the future. I took my rediscovered real and enduring purpose, simple and heartfelt, and allowed the maverick in me to imagine a future of visionary leaders who trust their intuitive skills to answer the changing needs of the masses.
I learned too, that what I envision and create might not always be ripe for the market immediately. I am preparing for a future need and if testing it out shows a gap in consciousness, be patient. Educate. The right time will come. The first-movers will run with it and show others the way.
The process of seeing the future is essential to a conscious, entrepreneurial leader. To use the scout's motto, ‘Be prepared’ takes on a whole new meaning when we anticipate the long-term needs of our planet and the longevity of our businesses.
To end on Geoff's words, ‘We all have a much greater ability to see the future than we think; we just need to rediscover it.’
SEEING YOUR FUTURE
For more information on visioning skills and applying conscious leadership principles at work, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.consciousleader.com.au
Indira Kennedy is Director of Conscious Leadership Australia, offering conscious leadership skills in visioning for value, advanced emotional intelligence and communication, women's leadership empowerment, mentoring training and private sessional support.
Geoff Green ‘The Smart Business Exit: getting rewarded for your blood sweat and tears’ Hesse Media, 2014